February 26, 2018
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Families,
In light of the school shooting tragedy in Florida, I wanted to review the safety measures we have already taken as a district and the additional ones that will be implemented to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
As you may know, we are the only district in Michigan with our own police department. Each of our high schools have sworn and trained police officers assigned to their buildings. In addition, this year we ensured each school had at least one security guard regardless of size and enrollment. Each year, every school is required to conduct emergency drills to simulate a “lock down” situation and create a safety plan. Please know that we have police staff and school level personnel also monitoring social media to proactively identify risk, and our school cameras are connected to our Police Headquarters for surveillance.
To improve security measures, we will be monitoring each school’s campus to ensure each has a single door of access. We are also conducting a security/IT facility review to determine what security cameras and metal detectors are in need of repair, while also assessing the cost to equip each classroom door with an internal lock. The results of the review will be examined as we conduct a greater comprehensive assessment of facility needs throughout the district, including roofs, windows, boilers, etc.
In the end, though, please know that our greatest safety deterrent is the relationship that we establish with our children at home and school. Please actively speak to your children about their lives, dreams, fears, challenges, and status of relationships with other children. Outside of school, our nation and state needs stronger gun control. Our students have already voiced this need and we will support their requests for safe and productive demands for legislative reform in this area.
Everyone, please be sure to report anything that appears concerning or suspicious that could harm our children, schools, or staff. This can be done through your child’s principal, teacher(s), myself via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or our police through 313-748-6000.
Nikolai P. Vitti, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools
Detroit Public Schools Community District